During my last visit to Keystone, my husband and I decided to check another craft brewery off our list. He had recently read an article about some of the top breweries in the state, and Broken Compass Brewing in Breckenridge made the list.
I knew there was another brewery in Breckenridge, but I’d never made it there in past visits. This time, I wasn’t going to miss my chance. And I’m glad I made the drive over to check out this local favorite.
A Little Background
Broken Compass is the long-time dream of founders David Axelrod and Jason Ford. They started working on the brewery in 2013, and opened in May 2014, with a lot of help from Ford’s wife, Jo who brought in much of the business savvy. Ever since it opened, crowds of locals and visitors have crowded into the taproom to sample Broken Compass’ delicious line up of beers.
The taproom, located right next to the brewery, is a cozy spot where friends can gather over a pint and a board game. The room is filled with long wooden tables, a re-purposed chair lift and an impressive wooden bar with over a dozen beers on tap.
There are shelves full of games, making it a perfect place for families to bring their kids. An old garage door in the back opens to a parking lot and a side patio. This is where we spent our visit, soaking in the sunshine. Dogs are welcome, and there’s no requirement to have them on a leash.
There’s a small stage area in the front of the taproom, where artists perform, usually on the weekend. On Mondays, Broken Compass hosts potlucks, where guests bring food to share. Everyone tries all the dishes and vote for their favorite three. After the votes are tallied, the winners are announced. Unfortunately, we were there on a Saturday and couldn’t enjoy the potluck festivities. Even so, we loved the vibes at Broken Compass, and I’d definitely plan in visiting again.
The staff at the bar was very friendly. My husband and I usually order tasters to get a feel for the different beer styles, and we were given great recommendations. Even with a busy taproom, they never rushed us or appeared inpatient. When I went back up to the bar to order a growler, I received friendly, prompt service.
As I mentioned, we always order a flight. It’s the best way to get a taste of what a brewery has to offer, and you don’t have to fully commit to a pint if you end up not liking it. Below is the selection we ordered:
- Helles – 5.4% ABV, 18 IBU
- Hefeweizen – 5.3% ABV, 16 IBU
- Irish Red – 6.0% ABV, 20 IBU
- Coconut Porter – 5.9% ABV, 28 IBU
- Chocolate Coffee Stout – 6.2% ABV, 26 IBU
- Ginger Pale Ale – 5.9% ABV, 20 IBU
- Mosaic IPA – 5.3% ABV, 60 IBU
- Bourbon Barrel Aged FDFH Brown – 8.5% ABV, 70 IBU
My favorite was the Irish Red. The sweet maltiness and deep flavor won me over, which is why we had to get a growler to take home to enjoy. Second place goes to the Hefeweizen, with a subtle hint of clove and banana aromas. Third place is a tie between the Helles and the Bourbon Barrel Aged FDFH Brown, two completely different styles, but both very flavorful.
According to Untappd, the top rated beers from Broken Compass are the Coconut Porter, Chocolate Coffee Stout and the Ginger Pale Ale. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the Coconut or Ginger, but the beauty of beer is that there’s something for everyone and not all beers are for everyone. I don’t like coconut in general, but I gave it a try. It was far too sweet for my palate, but my husband gladly finished it. As far as the Ginger, I think that’s another flavor you either love or you hate. It’s not too overpowering, but it was a little too much for me.
Broken Compass does not serve food, but you can bring your own. Many people were munching on snacks they brought from home, while others ordered food for delivery. We picked up sandwiches and flatbread from a nearby cafe.
The brewery does offer tours, but due to the small space, they can only run tours when it’s slow. You’ll need to call ahead to see if they can accommodate you.
If you go…
Location: 68 Continental Court, Unit B12, Breckenridge, Colorado 80424
Hours: 11a.m. – Close (usually around 10p.m., but can stay open later)
Directions: Check out the Broken Compass website.